Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rhinebeck 2008

I spent the day, yesterday, at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY with three of my best friends. We had an awesome day. The weather was perfect, the fiber was yummy, the foliage was beautiful and the day was rounded out with an awesome Ravelry Party in Red Hook.

We arrived just after 9am and beat feet over to Building A to snag some Socks that Rock Sock Yarn at The Fold. I got a Mill End in Medium Weight that I think might be "Downpour". The next two pictures show each end of the skein. Do you recognize the colorway?

The next two pictures another STR yarn in Heavy Weight (Sport) and is called Storey-time. I just couldn't resist this color!

We wandered through the rest of Building A. All of us tried our hand at a Golding Wheel (which was a religious experience, to quote Lexi). It was so smooth that if you took your feet off of the treadles, it still spun for you for quite a bit. Lexi bought a Golding drop spindle. I resisted for now since I am a wheel spinner and have not mastered the drop spindle yet. Instead I bought this Schacht Drop Spindle for 1/5-1/7 th of the price.

If I find I like to use the drop spindle I will either invest in a Golding or I will get a Lily Spindle. The Lilies are GORGEOUS! Gilbert Gonsalves hand carves them out of wood and Formica countertop! He explained that by thinning out the flower in the center and leaving it thicker at the edges you get a much smoother spin. No matter what size you buy, they are all the same price and closely match Goldings prices.

Also in Building A we found Stefania of Handspun by Stefania. She sells these awesome kits including yarn she handspun herself with Jacob Wool and Great Pyrenees Dog Hair. The mittens looked like they were knit with Angora, they were so hairy/fluffy and soft. I bought the kit below for Plaid Glitten (flip top glove/mitten). Mine is in Orange and Natural and I can't wait to knit them.

Then we found Galina Alexandrovna Khmeleva of Skaska Designs Limited where I found this awesome Wool Laceweight in a Clearance Basket for $8. It is 1080 yds/60g or 65/35 Superwash Wool/Wool. I also got 65/35 Yak/Silk Lace weight. That was $35 but WELL worth it! It is so soft and so shiny and beautiful! That is 1675 yds/100g. Her stuff is truly a treat!

I decided that since I was going to venture into the drop spindle world, it was also time to start learning how to process my own fiber. Lexi and I split the cost of a 4 pound Merino Fleece that we will divide between us. Now I will have to learn how to wash a fleece, and have a need for hand carders, so I bought my first set. They are from Strauch Fiber Equipment Co.

I also bought a 1.38 pound Shetland fleece that was already washed. I think I will start out by carding this one before I try my hand at the other raw fleece. I'm excited! I also have 4 oz of paca-vicuna that I got form another spinning friend who bought a whole fleece and wanted to split it with someone (hoping to get 4 more oz from her). So I can card that one now too.

In another building I found Silk Hankies and I have been wanting to try my hand at spinning these. I bought an orange/hot pink colored one, a brown/blue one and 2 natural ones that I will leave natural or dye myself.

Days like this are also filled with many opportunities for laughter. It seems that everyone was vying for the top spot for the person who could wear the most knit items without regard for how well they matched each other. We saw tons of people who felt they needed to wear a sweater, shawl or scarf, hat, AND fingerless mitts. LOL! We had decided early in the day that we needed to find the gaudiest knit item and we found it while buying a soda. There was an unfortunate woman who thought that it would be a good idea to knit herself a huge cardigan with different colored blocks of fun fur. EEK!
I was thoroughly amazed at the number of February Lady Sweaters I saw on people. They were in all different sizes and colors and as long as the knitter followed the pattern, it really flattered every single one of them from the biggest person down to the smallest. The pattern is definitely a good choice, so I am glad I am in the middle of knitting it myself. If you decide to knit it, follow the pattern and trust the designer. Don't modify it so that the garter stitch extends down below your chest because you think you need to cover up more of yourself. It really looks nice when it stops above the chest. It's also not a good idea to alter it to add buttons all the way down the front. Just having the buttons on the top is the best choice. It looks fabulous! Trust me!!


After Rhinebeck, we went over to the Ravelry Party. I think there ended up being at least 500 people there. We were 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th in line to get in, so we got one of the gift bags, but unfortunately didn't win any of the door prizes. We're convinced that our tickets were stuck to the bottom! The gift bag had all sorts of discount coupons, a "Bob" sticker, a "Got Bob?" pin and a Della Q accessory bag. The door prizes were awesome, so it's too bad none of won one of them. But, we were satisfied with the food, open bar and gift bag. The sponsors provided us with a fun night.


There was a strange woman who sat with us and did her best to know everything about us. We spent more time laughing than talking though and I almost killed Tammy because she was laughing so hard she couldn't get a deep breath in. That was scary because at first I thought she was just kidding like all people when they say, "I can't breath" because they are laughing so hard, but she really couldn't breath! Thankfully she was able to get a deep breath and get herself back to normal breathing. As it turns out, she was just diagnosed with asthma. (dingy didn't tell us)


It was amazing how something as simple as size is not understood to some knitters. We saw people with sweaters that were too big (meant to be worn as snug fitting) or too small for their size. We saw a woman who had knit a beautiful Arwen Sweater, but she either bought too few skeins of yarn or decided that having it end just about her waist would be a good idea. Unfortunately she was very large and it was not a flattering look on her. I took a picture but decided it would be best to leave it to your imagination (plus that would just be mean and the day was just about fun, not being mean).

So, the day was pretty great. I haven't had a day that fun in a long time. I've definitely found the best group of friends. It's amazing that 5 women (we missed you yesterday Jenn) could be so far apart in age and have so much stuff in common and so much fun together. Mary Alice summed it up when she said that we were family. It's true. We just click....and my god we're funny together!! ;0)

Thanks gals, I had a blast!


  1. I saw the same Arwen and thought how sad, such a nice knitting job. Great buys, I was very conservative as it was my first Rhinebeck and am going for the entire weekend next year.

  2. ::sniff, sniff:: I missed you all too. I was locked up all day taking notes on a book about Cherokee Indians and the state of Georgia in the 1830's. Your day was by far more fun. On the upside, I got enough done to go to knitting on Friday. Next year, either with or without the baby I will be there, come hell or high water. Miss you.

  3. Thanks for the kind words about the Feb Lady sweater, Deb! I'm always so thrilled to hear that it looks good on a range of bodies.